Workers' Compensation injuries can happen virtually anywhere, and in any work environment. If you work in a retail location, a factory, or even a restaurant, you are probably well aware of just how many on-the-job dangers you face on a daily basis. Slips, burns, machinery, falling objects, and more can all hurt you without warning. If the hazards are so obvious to you and your coworkers, they must be even clearer to your boss, right? Why then do so many employers try to hide or entirely avoid workers’ compensation claims made by their employees after an accident?
The reason in so many cases is the "bottom dollar." The more injury reports that come from a place of employment, the higher their insurance rates will be. If they can discourage or prevent an injured employee from making a claim, they stand to save money in premiums for workers' compensation insurance.
How Do Employers Try to Avoid a Claim?
Employers may rely on the fact that most people do not know the intricacies of workers’ compensation law. By subtly refusing to provide the appropriate information about making a claim, they can steer their employees away from exercising their legal options.
Sometimes an employer will flat-out lie to its employees by saying that they do not have the right to make a claim. The truth is that regardless of what an employer says after you are injured, you may have the legal option to pursue compensation with a professional’s help. If you are told that you have no workers' compensation claim, or that you cannot pursue one, it may be coercion and nothing more.
In other cases, an employer may deny that an injury happened on the job when speaking to its workers' compensation insurance carrier or claims adjuster. Faced with the employer denying that an injury happened, the employer's insurance carrier will probably then deny the claim.
In still other cases, employees are fired after suffering an accident on the jobsite. The employer’s mindset is that if that worker is no longer an employee, that worker may think he or she cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits. This is not true; while the employer is free to fire an employee for being injured on the job, the employer cannot escape a workers' compensation claim by doing so. We have covered this in more detail in a previous blog entry (“Can I Be Terminated for Being Injured on the Job?”).
What Can You Do to Protect Your Rights?
If you do not seek workers’ compensation after an on-the-job injury, odds are that your condition will worsen and you will be unable to receive the proper medical care. You need to file a claim as soon as you can with our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Douglas F. Kaleita, P.C. We understand that you might be close friends outside the workplace with your employer, compelling you to avoid “getting them in trouble” by filing a claim. When you work with us, we will approach the situation compassionately and professionally so as to avoid stirring up animosity between you and your employer or coworkers, while still respecting and protecting your rights.
Call 888.665.7699 today to learn more about what we can do for you and what compensation might be available to you through a successful case. Free consultations are available.